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Competitiveness and interregional as well as international trade: The case of Catalonia


  • Ghemawat, Pankaj
  • Llano, Carlos
  • Requena, Francisco


Recent years have seen a surge of interest among industrial organization economists in using data on international trade flows as windows into competitiveness. For countries that are at least mid-sized (e.g., Spain), interregional trade tends to be as large as or significantly larger than international trade. The case of Catalonia, a Spanish region, illustrates how ignoring interregional flows can lead to erroneous inferences about a region's external competitiveness. Accounting for Catalonia's interregional as well as international flows shifts what is generally assessed to be a chronic trade deficit in goods into a surplus and changes diagnoses of which Catalan sectors generate external surpluses and who its key trading partners are. We also use a gravity model approach to estimate international border effects for Catalonia.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghemawat, Pankaj & Llano, Carlos & Requena, Francisco, 2010. "Competitiveness and interregional as well as international trade: The case of Catalonia," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 415-422, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:4:p:415-422

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Jaumandreu, Jordi, 2009. "What explains the evolution of productivity and competitiveness? The innovation link," IESE Research Papers D/804, IESE Business School.
    7. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
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    9. Pankaj Ghemawat, 2003. "Semiglobalization and international business strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 34(2), pages 138-152, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Noriaki Matsushima & Laixun Zhao, 2015. "Multimarket Linkages, Trade and the Productivity Puzzle," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 1-13, February.
    2. Tamara Mata & Carlos Llano, 2013. "Social networks and trade of services: modelling interregional flows with spatial and network autocorrelation effects," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 319-367, July.
    3. Noriaki Matsushima & Laixun Zhao, 2010. "Multimarket linkages, buyer power, and the productivity puzzle," ISER Discussion Paper 0797, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    4. Nuria Gallego & Carlos Llano, 2014. "The Border Effect and the Nonlinear Relationship between Trade and Distance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 1016-1048, November.
    5. Gallego López, Nuria & Llano Verduras, Carlos & Perez García, Julian, 2010. "Estimación de los flujos de transporte de mercancías interregionales trimestrales mediante técnicas de interpolación temporal/Estimating Quarterly Interregional Commodity Transport Flows by Means of T," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 699(38á.)-6, Diciembre.
    6. Llano, C. & De la Mata, T. & Díaz-Lanchas, J. & Gallego, N., 2017. "Transport-mode competition in intra-national trade: An empirical investigation for the Spanish case," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 334-355.
    7. Amitrajeet A. BATABYAL & Hamid BELADI, 2016. "Trade Between Creative Regions When The Input Elasticity Of Substitution Is Less Than Unity," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(3), pages 11-18, December.
    8. James LeSage & Carlos Llano-Verduras, 2014. "Forecasting spatially dependent origin and destination commodity flows," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 1543-1562, December.


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